Anderson cleared to play tonight Possible appendicitis had sidelined slugger

Orioles Notebook

July 23, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson, sidelined by what some doctors believe is appendicitis, will play tonight, manager Davey Johnson said last night.

And, as Johnson announced this after last night's game, along with the fact that Roberto Alomar will play tonight, he sounded as if he couldn't believe it.

"I don't know what to expect [with Anderson]," said Johnson. "He's cleared to play [by doctors], and he wants to play. . . . They feel it isn't going to hurt him to play.

"I don't know if he's got appendicitis. I don't know if he's going to have an operation in two days or tomorrow. . . . I just pray for him to be healthy and not have a problem."

Johnson was asked if the Orioles considered placing Anderson on the 15-day disabled list, to nudge him along toward the surgery that at least one specialist believes he should have.

Johnson said that William Meyers, chief surgeon at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, indicated there was a 90 percent chance Anderson has appendicitis and needs surgery that would sideline him three to six weeks.

"I don't now if we can nudge anything," Johnson said. 'Brady is adamant he wants to try to get through this without having surgery. Some doctors are saying he could get through it without having the surgery."

Anderson did not participate in pre-game drills last night and was unavailable for comment.

Before the game, Johnson said all those around the center fielder would like him to have the appendectomy even his doctor says he needs. They'd like him to avoid the additional risk he is taking by waiting, in the slim hope his condition will improve.

"But I can't sign and admit him [into the hospital]," Johnson said.

Anderson began hurting last Wednesday, played Thursday and tested positive for signs of appendicitis Friday, and has missed the past four games.

Anderson's risk in waiting is in the damage his body could suffer in the interim -- the recovery time, Anderson said, will be longer. Johnson's understanding is that Anderson's recovery time may be "two or three times longer" if he suffers more from while waiting to have the procedure.

Bonilla trade talks

The Orioles continue to talk trade possibilities with other clubs, with the San Diego Padres among the pursuers of Bobby Bonilla. The Orioles have asked for a major-league pitcher (sinkerball pitcher Bryce Florie is attractive to the club) and a minor-league position prospect (Juan Melo, a shortstop prospect, is a possibility). The Giants may be willing to part with a pitcher or two, perhaps William VanLandingham and/or Jamie Brewington.

The Orioles want to see how the team plays in the next week before making a move, but in doing so they run a risk of letting the market for Bonilla dry up. A month ago, the Cubs, Giants and Marlins had varying degrees of interest in Bonilla. Now, however, all three teams are fading from the race and are less likely to assume the $1.5 million cost of trading for Bonilla and his $4.6 million contract.

Rhodes placed on 15-day DL

The Orioles placed left-hander Arthur Rhodes on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 13. Rhodes, suffering from soreness in the top of his shoulder, will begin throwing in the bullpen today and won't be ready until Sunday at the earliest, and with the trade of Kent Mercker on Sunday, the Orioles are short-handed in their bullpen.

Roger McDowell, on the disabled list with soreness in the back of his shoulder, threw off a mound yesterday for the first time since he was sidelined. McDowell didn't have the same kind of pain in his shoulder, but he did have pain.

Miscellaneous

Alomar took grounders and batting practice from the right side of the plate, testing the sore ringer on his left hand. Johnson said Alomar will start tonight at second base. . . . Former major-leaguer Joe Garagiola was at Camden Yards to launch the National Spit Tobacco Education Program in Maryland. Garagiola said he used to chew himself, but after learning of the health problems involved he focused his attention on educating players on the issue in hopes of eliminating the practice from baseball. . . . Rafael Palmeiro, out Sunday because of a strained wrist, was back in the lineup, saying he felt much better. . . . Armando Benitez, on the disabled list since April with a slight tear in an elbow ligament, will begin throwing off a mound next week. . . . Tony Tarasco has gone from 240 to 218 pounds in his rehabilitation. "He's been a real leader down there," said farm director Syd Thrift. "He's set an example for us down there."

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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